The last month or so I have been blogging more and more Mezze recipes and sharing my love for this delicious style of eating. I am constantly influenced by Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours and I am always finding new ways and styles to cook with different and exciting ingredients. And while I am pleased that my list of Mezze recipes are becoming varied, meaning that we don’t have the same small plates each time we want a little of that fresh and vibrant influence in our kitchen, they can get a little on the heavy side when wanting to make all of your favourite dishes such as Meatballs, Taramasalata, Baked Feta and Fried Courgette Balls. We still need some vegetables! I often serve a simple Aubergine Salad on the side, without the halloumi when wanting to make it a little lighter. But it is these Griddled Courgettes with Pine Nuts and Feta that are the perfect side to any Mezze/ small plate night!
Of course, this dish is the perfect side for any other meal. Or simply on its own for a light lunch. I love cooking the courgettes on a griddle pan as it gives them that slightly charred and smoky taste. I also toast the pine nuts for a few minutes so they are soft yet crunchy. But it is the feta and the seasoning that make this dish. I use one of my favourite spices, Za’atar, a crucial spice to any Eastern Mediterranean food! It is a tangy and fragrant spice with a slight hint of nuttiness and is perfect spread on some pittas or sprinkled into yoghurt. I like to use it as a kind of seasoning which is why it goes so well with this recipe and really brings out the saltiness of the feta and gives those courgettes a real kick of flavour.
This is a very simple dish to prepare and is something that I make time and time again. It really is the perfect side to add to any kind of meal.
- 2 courgettes (finely sliced)
- 100g feta (crumbled)
- 1 red chilli (finely sliced)
- 70g pine nuts
- Small bunch fresh mint (roughly torn)
- 1 tsp za'atar seasoning
- Olive oil
- Heat a frying pan (but don't add any oil) and once hot gently toast the pine nuts for 1-2 minutes, giving them a shake regularly so they brown all over. Put to once side.
- Heat a large griddle again (again no oil) and once hot add the courgettes and cook on each side for around 1-2 minutes until slightly charred with the griddle mark. You will need to do this in batches so just keep them to one side while you do the rest.
- Put all the courgettes into a large bowl and then add the za'atar. Mix everything together so spice coats the courgettes.
- Plate up the courgettes and sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Crumble the feta on top and then scatter the sliced chilli and fresh mint. Finally, drizzle with a little olive oil.